Can US and India trample Pakistan?
A. R. Jerral
General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, in an article published on June 6, 2011, has given the details of circumstances and considerations that compelled him to take the fateful decision to join the US coalition in Afghanistan on the war against the Taliban. However, there are lobbies in Pakistan who either support or oppose the decision and have their reason for it. But this article does not focus on these reasons.
General Musharraf has given a detailed analysis of the “losses and harms of an anti-US stand” and just hints at the “socio-economic and military gains that would accrue” from the alliance with the West. But he has not elaborated on those gains for anyone to comment upon in any objective manner, while the harms that he has spelled out may leave many doubts in the minds of the Pakistani nation.
He admits that he was angrily told by the US to be “either with us or against us” with a threat that if against America then Pakistan “should be prepared to be bombed back to the Stone Age.” It was a potent threat and the decision was surely not easy, but then heads of states are required to take difficult decisions; leading and ruling a nation is a difficult calling. The leaders take such decisions on the basis of their support from the masses, and eventually they rise or fall together. History is full of such events and only posterity gives a verdict either in favour or against. So far the results of his decision have not proved any good for Pakistan.
He says that an anti-US decision would have been a “foolhardy, rash and most unwise”, as it would have “irreparably compromised our strategic interests – our nuclear capability and the Kashmir cause.” This he based on the assessment that in the event of going against the USA, it would, in collusion with India, “trample” Pakistan. “Our airspace and land would have been violated” and our air force would have been “pitched against the combined might of the US and Indian forces.” In his assessment, it appears that Pakistan’s military forces stood no chance of defending the country and stopping the “trampling” of Pakistan. It is, indeed, a very serious assessment that impacts gravely on the professional prowess of Pakistan’s armed forces.